Analysis

Please find below the most recent in-depth analysis pieces from CriticalThreats.org.

Snatching Failure from Victory in Afghanistan

The military commander in Afghanistan, General Joe Dunford, has said that he needs 10,000 US troops to accomplish the missions the president has said he wants to accomplish after this year. That number is probably half of what is actually required, by our estimates, but enough to keep options open for the next president.

Testimony: Missing the Target - Why the U.S. Has Not Defeated al Qaeda
By Frederick W. Kagan, April 8, 2014

The problem of al Qaeda cannot be separated from the other crises of our age, nor can it be quarantined or rendered harmless through targeted therapies that ignore the larger problems.

When Two Sharifs Fight, Musharraf Gets Trampled
By Reza Jan, Foreign Policy, April 3, 2014

Pakistan finally indicted former president and army chief Gen. Pervez Musharraf for high treason for abrogating the country's constitution in 2007. The indictment is likely to increase the strife between Pakistan's powerful military and relatively new civilian government.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb: Leaders and their Networks
By Andreas Hagen, March 27, 2014

Degrading al Qaeda leadership is central to American counterterrorism strategy, but the leaders today are not the same as they were in 2001. Al Qaeda leaders are no longer necessarily connected by formal networks and many operate outside of any formal affiliation to the al Qaeda network.

Yemen's Pivotal Moment
By Katherine Zimmerman, February 12, 2014

Yemen is at a pivotal moment today, three years after the outbreak of popular protests, and the future of America’s strategy against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is on the line.

A New Definition for al Qaeda

What is al-Qaeda? And who cares? Confusion about how to define the terrorist group is rife. Was al-Qaeda involved in the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead? The Obama administration says no.

Obama Flirts with Losing the "Must Win" War

Washington is full of leaks that the Obama administration is planning to end America's military presence in Afghanistan in 2016. And Congress has already slashed U.S. financial assistance to the fifth-poorest country in the world.

Putin's Olympic Gamble
By Katherine Earle, January 22, 2014

In Russian President Vladimir Putin’s New Year’s address, he promised to keep up the fight against terrorists in Russia’s North Caucasus until “their complete destruction.” With the Sochi Winter Olympics less than a month away, however, it is becoming increasingly evident that Putin has bitten off more than he can chew.

Al Qaeda Renewed: It is Decentralized and Dangerous
By Katherine Zimmerman, National Review, December 26, 2013

The broad network of al-Qaeda affiliates now threatens the United States from safe havens across the Middle East and North Africa. But it is far from the same beast that attacked the U.S. in 2001: It has evolved and adapted, and is much more resilient than before.

A Good Year for al Qaeda in Pakistan
By Reza Jan, December 19, 2013

Al Qaeda’s network and associates in Pakistan got a free pass in 2013. For 2014, we dismiss it as a group of has-beens at our own peril.